La Fontaine: Fables Choisies
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Jean de La Fontaine
The variables in copies of this book are fascinating. This is our fourth copy. One copy (#3500) has a different title-page indicating that it belongs to the "Bibliotheque de la Jeunesse." It also has a different design on its back cover: small zigzag pattern rather than the larger pattern on the other three. One copy (# 7583) has a different number at the bottom of its last page: 14284, whereas the other three copies have 8007. One copy (#3474) has no white stripes at the top or bottom of its front cover. This copy, in good condition, has, in reverse order, the zigzag pattern on the back cover, stripes at the top and bottom of its front cover, 8007 on its last page, and no indication of " Bibliotheque de la Jeunesse on its title-page. As things turn out, it is the only copy with this configuration of details. I will repeat comments here made on other copies. Bodemann 368.3. There are twenty-eight strong full-page colored illustrations here. Each of them echoes a page in the two volumes of "Imagerie Artistique: 20 Fables de La Fontaine" and are signed by the same artists. These are not the same works in the two publications, but they are very close. Could those be some kind of copy or photograph of these? Sometimes the picture here is only a section of the larger poster-like page there, e.g., in FG (25). And of course there the text is inserted somewhere on the page. The medium here is sharper, the paper stronger and shinier, the format smaller. My favorite, "Les deux Chèvres," is here on 29. Manganot's signature is very hard to read on the lovely GA (31), if in fact that is the correct deciphering. This illustration is dated 1887; it is the only one that I can find dated. Particularly lively and dramatic here is "Le Charretier embourbé" (53). It is nice to see some things come together! Bodemann treats this edition as "verkleinerte Abzüge der Tafeln der 'Imagerie Artistique'" and estimates the publication date at about 1910. Mistakenly, I think, she says that there are thirty-three fables here. Perhaps she mistakes the five that run over onto the next page.
L. Martinet: Librairies-Imprimeries Réunies